Ray Allen on what he would teach Ben Simmons
Allen guested on the Dan Patrick Show and revealed his thoughts on teaching Ben Simmons about shooting. Everyone is aware of Simmons’ all-around talent, but if he wants to take it to the next level, he needs to solve his biggest weakness: shooting the ball. Just imagine if Simmons would develop a decent and more than average outside shooting; he could practically be a poor man’s Kevin Durant or Tracy McGrady. For Allen, the small forward should come in with an empty cup and accept all the new information.
“You have to shoot shots that you know you’re going to be tested on in a game. If you think about a fourth quarter scenario with somebody running out at you, how is that lift on your jump shot gonna look? What is that release gonna look like and that’s what you have to practice.”Ray Allen, via Dan Patrick Show
Allen could be referring to how Ben Simmons could drain perimeter shots in a row, even the long-range bombs, during offseason workouts and pickup games. Fans wondered if the Sixers forward could do that in workouts; why was it not showing during real games? You can see how smooth Simmons’ stroke and how wet his jump shots were on the highlights below:
Expectations are different from reality
LeBron James appeared to say the same thing in his tweet recently.
Players go through offseason workouts to improve their skills. The aim is to apply the newfound confidence and improved skills during actual games. The opposite can be said of Simmons that despite his improved shooting during pickup games, he turns gun shy during actual games. According to Allen, he has to practice shooting shots that may happen. Anyone can sink uncontested jumpers, but it’s totally different with defense and shot-clock pressure in an actual NBA game.
Simmons should make the first step and reach out to Allen and ask for some guidance. It’s not too late to turn things around. Having Ray as a shooting mentor could help him solve one of the most significant weaknesses and elevate him to become an even better player in the NBA.